Pitt Town family take on China

From tricks and stunts on the Hawkesbury River to performing for crowds of thousands in China, the Ellison family are making a name for themselves in the world of water performance.

For years Jack and Melissa Ellison, and their children Brittany, 21, Dominique, 20, and Joshua, 16, have been touring the world performing in water ski shows and competing at an international level.

The founder of H2o Events, Jack Ellison has made a career on the back of the family’s unique water sport talents, which were born on the pristine waters of the Hawkesbury River.

Ellison has since passed the baton on to his eldest daughter Brittany, who is now running her own show in China, performing alongside her brother, sister and boyfriend Ben Hornsby, who is also from the Hawkesbury.

Both Brittany and Dominique have been working at the theme park Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai since the beginning of the year, with their brother Joshua visiting for work in the school holidays.

“We are doing an international multimedia show which includes a variety of effects like laser, water fountains, video mapping, lighting, fireworks and the live action component, which is flyboarding, swivel skiing, jetski routines with pyrotechnics and kite tails,” Ms Ellison said.

“We do this show every single night and also do a day show every day through the summer period.”

Ms Ellison said since finishing School at Arndell Anglican College and completing her bachelor of business specialising in event management, she had enjoyed the challenge of running her own show in another country.

She said the travel and the skills honed by performing in shows across the world had given her invaluable international business experience.

“Not only am I lucky to have such an amazing job, but we are in an amazing location,” Ms Ellison said.

“I am very lucky to be in the position I am and learn so much about international business. 

“Every day I learn something new.

‘‘This has helped me in my abilities of being a manager and also how to deal with the client and ensure that day-to-day our show is meeting their crazy Chinese expectations.”

Ms Ellison said their contract had recently been extended for another six months.

With an established team and show she plans to return home to the Hawkesbury in September. But, she said, she would visit China regularly to oversee the show’s progress.

It was Jack Ellison’s success as a water skier that saw his family relocate from South Africa to Australia when he was just 13.

An Australian champion, Mr Ellison’s success soon branched into stunts and performance working in a waterski show at Sea World in his early 20s.

Mr Ellison and his wife Melissa made a life for themselves in the Hawkesbury.

After his gig at Sea World, Mr Ellison began his own company, H2o Events, running water ski shows as well as ski schools on the Hawkesbury River. 

With the entire family growing up around waterskiing, it wasn’t long before the Ellison kids joined their father on the performance stage.

In 2012 both Brittany and Dominique competed in the first ever world ski show competition in Chicago, America, against the US, Canada, Belgium and China.

The first large-scale shows the family did together were in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

They went on for 13 years.

Currently they are working on the Ekka in Brisbane, producing a land-based multimedia show, as well as planning a ski show for Dubai in December.

A few weeks ago Brittany was in Turkmenistan performing a ski show for the country’s president. For the last 10 years a lot of the Ellison’s business has come internationally rather than within Australia.

But every year they still do a jet ski routine which lights up the fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

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